Council slammed for ‘victim-blaming’ poster which suggests women will be pressured into sex if they drink

A council has been slammed for a ‘shockingly misogynistic’ poster which suggests that women who drink alcohol will be pressured into having sex.

The campaign, promoted by City Council and charity Balance, has come under fire for ‘victim-blaming’ as it intimates young women need help in making the right choices.

The poster, which is displayed around Sunderland, depicts a miserable looking young mum with the headline: ‘Talk to your daughter about alcohol now. Before it starts making decisions for her’.

It adds: ‘In a couple of years’ time your daughter could go to a party, drink too much and be pressured into having unsafe sex. Talk about it with her now and help her make the right choices. Why let drink decide.’

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Liberal Democrat group leader, Niall Hodson, said: ‘In their rush to de-normalize and stigmatize alcohol use, Sunderland Council has needlessly targeted young women in a shockingly misogynist way.

‘Suggesting to parents that if you don’t “help her make the right decisions” your daughter will be some kind of victim.

‘It says it is likely young women drinking alcohol will have decisions made for them, will be “pressurised into having unsafe sex” and that they need help to “make the right choices”.’

‘Why would you want to reinforce these negative stereotypes?

‘What on earth does this say about young women’s agency in 2018, and why do they feel the need to depict pregnancy and young mothers so negatively?

‘I thought we were past this nonsense. Why does the campaign blame girls for the actions of people who abuse them?


‘If the council want to encourage parents to talk with their children about alcohol that’s great, but there is no need for them to denigrate young women while they’re at it.’

Sunderland councillor John Kelly, portfolio holder for public health, wellness and culture, said: ‘I’m afraid this is the Liberal Democrats politicising children’s health.

‘This is a campaign to encourage parents to have a conversation with their children about alcohol. This is about people being in control of themselves.

‘The Liberal Democrats are focusing on one poster. Another focuses on young boys fighting who might think they are invincible when they have a drink.

‘These are hard-hitting posters for a specific reason.’

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Colin Shevills, director of Balance, said: ‘This campaign is in no way intended to be misogynistic, or blame or shame anyone.

‘It is a genuine attempt to encourage parents of young people to think about the consequences and have a conversation with their children about alcohol sooner rather than later.’



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